Reckoning with Reality: Five Key Findings from the FIND Research

By Joscha Albert, Swati Mehta Dhawan, Dr. Karen Jacobsen, Lisa Klinger, María Teresa Nagel, Radha Rajkotia, Barri Shorey, Anneleen Vos, Cate Wanjala, Kim Wilson, Hans Martin Zademach, and Julie Zollman

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Abstract: Managing finances is a significant challenge for migrants and refugees, with implications for both their futures and those of their home countries. From 2019-2021 a research collaborative between Tufts University, the International Rescue Committee, and Catholic University Eichstaett Ingolstadt conducted case studies in Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, and Uganda on refugees and migrants who had been in these host countries between three and eight years. This brief highlights our main findings and policy recommendations.

Overall, we found that financial services alone cannot produce significant improvements in financial outcomes. Improved financial outcomes depend on refugees’ ability to navigate pathways to sustainable work and some form of integration, which in turn depend on documentation and the rights to operate a business, work, and move freely In their host country. Still, certain mainstream financial services were valued, and while our respondents could not enjoy regular use of them until their incomes improved, they did not want to be locked out of them. What they rejected was to be experimented upon with fledgling services that were designed “just for them.”

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For questions, please contact Kim Wilson at kimberley.wilson@tufts.edu

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